News From Terre Haute, Indiana

Local & Bistate

June 26, 2014

USA soccer fans ready to support team in big match

TERRE HAUTE — When Indiana State University’s women’s soccer team gathers today over a potluck lunch to watch the U.S. team play Germany in the World Cup, it will see why “soccer is the world’s sport for a reason.”

So says Erika True, the ISU team’s coach. “In every country, anyone can pick up a ball, no matter how poor they are,” she said. “A lot of the pro athletes in other sports say they grew up playing soccer.”

True said in years past, the U.S. team may have had some “people laughing at them,” but with four points in its bracket, she thinks the Americans are doing well.

“They have a young team mixed with veterans,” she said. “The veterans have to stand out.”

Erin Avjian is a fan who enjoys  the “dynamic side of the sport,” she said as she awaited the Honduras-Switzerland game.

“With the USA’s success this year, hopefully it’ll inspire more people and create a larger fan base,” she said as she sat at the Copper Bar in downtown Terre Haute on Wednesday,

Avjian said she goes to the Copper Bar “for most of the games,” where she seems to enjoy the atmosphere.

“We’ve lost to Ghana the last couple years,” she said. “It is great to see USA beat them for the first time in a while.”

European countries usually are the best in the World Cup, Avjian said. Germany has won three world cups, Italy has won four championships, France and England have won one apiece.

“This year’s World Cup is a bit different than years past,” she said. “England is typically a favorite, but they got knocked out already. Costa Rica, which people usually aren’t aware that they are good at soccer, beat out England and Italy.”

Avjian agreed that soccer brings countries to compete against each other while showing their patriotism.

“It is both a physical and mental game,” Avjian said. “I love watching the growth of the player in the 90 minutes. The players have to adjust — soccer is a fluid, changing game. No two games are alike. Even if someone doesn’t understand everything about the game, they can still get excited.”

The Copper Bar usually doesn’t have a big soccer-watching crowd, said Rob Lewis, a bartender, but he expects a large turnout for the United States-Germany game today.

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